Steck Solos Grandes Jorasses in 2:21

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Photographed a few days after his speed ascent, Steck moves up steep, delicate mixed ground on the Colton-MacIntyre. Photo © Jonathan Griffith.

Photographed a few days after his speed ascent, Steck moves up steep, delicate mixed ground on the Colton-MacIntyre. Photo © Jonathan Griffith.

Ueli Steck motors up the icefield at the bottom of the Colton-MacIntyre Route on the Grandes Jorasses, a few days after his speed solo. Photo © Jonathan Griffith / alpineexposures.com.

Ueli Steck motors up the icefield at the bottom of the Colton-MacIntyre Route on the Grandes Jorasses, a few days after his speed solo. Photo © Jonathan Griffith / alpineexposures.com.

Ueli Steck has soloed the Colton-MacIntyre Route on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses in 2 hours 21 minutes, the fastest time for any route on the premier north wall of the Mont Blanc massif. The Swiss climber had never been on this route. Steck carried a 50-meter 5mm rope, two ice screws, two pitons, and four carabiners; however, he completed the 3,600-foot route, including difficult dry-tooling, without using the rope or pro. He stopped his watch atop Pointe Walker, the highest point of the Grandes Jorasses.

Last February, Steck broke his own record for speed-climbing the north face of the Eiger, climbing the classic 1938 route in 2 hours 47 minutes 33 seconds. In March 2006, he climbed the Bonatti Route on the north face of the Matterhorn in 25 hours, a record for that route but not the face; Walter Bonatti took five days on his first ascent of the route in 1965.

The Colton-Macintyre Route (1,100m, ED2 WI6 M6) on the 3,600-foot north face of the Grandes Jorasses, first climbed by Britons Nick Colton and Alex MacIntyre in 1976. Ueli Steck deviated from this route for two steep ice pitches on the 1993 Alexis route in the middle of the climb. Courtesy of Ueli Steck.

The Colton-Macintyre Route (1,100m, ED2 WI6 M6) on the 3,600-foot north face of the Grandes Jorasses, first climbed by Britons Nick Colton and Alex MacIntyre in 1976. Ueli Steck deviated from this route for two steep ice pitches on the 1993 Alexis route in the middle of the climb. Courtesy of Ueli Steck.

Ueli Steck checks his watch after another record-breaking run in the Alps. Courtesy of Ueli Steck.

Ueli Steck checks his watch after another record-breaking run in the Alps. Courtesy of Ueli Steck.

Date of Ascent: December 28, 2008

Source: Ueli Steck, Planetmountain.com

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